Does the Acura Type S Concept Make a Good Case for Revival of Acura’s Performance Arm?
Acura has introduced the Type S Concept, a model that not only serves as the official reintroduction of Acura’s Type S performance division, but it also serves as a preview to what the next-generation TLX will look like. According to Acura, two high-performance Type S models will make their debut by 2021, one of which is the TLX, but there’s a big elephant in the room – the Type S name, while revered by Honda and Acura Fanboys, only lasted eight years the last time it was a part of Acura’s lineup.
So, that raises a few questions: Is Acura’s reintroduction of the Type S name a strategic move in a time where some automakers are dropping cars from their lineup altogether or is it pure coincidence? Does the Type S Concept represent that Acura is ready to step back into the performance car battlefield yet again? Will the Type S name have a bright but short existence this time around or with it thrive? I intend to answer these questions, and we’ll start by exploring the new concept.
Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid
Known as the ’Race to the Clouds,’ the annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event is arguably the best well-known of its kind and one of the hardest to master. That’s why Acura is deploying a five-car time at Pikes Peak this year although we’ll be focusing on just one of them: a modified MDX Sport Hybrid three-row SUV that’s said to put out 400 horsepower without the exterior appearance (minus the Acura livery, of course) suggesting it means business.
The 12.42-mile-long strip of road that climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet and forms the course of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb was once covered in dirt from one end to the other. Then, as time went by, asphalt started replacing dirt and, now, there’s tarmac everywhere. But this hasn’t stopped all sorts of people showing in all sorts of cars which, on the face of it, seem very unfit for the (potentially deadly) challenge that is the race in Colorado. An SUV might now be the first thing that you’d bring to climb the mountain, but with there being such a big mountain for these high-riding vehicles, it’s become quite appealing for some manufacturers to show up and try to beat the SUV record. The Pikes Peak isn’t the "new" Nurburgring with everybody bragging about how fast they can go around there, but it may become soon enough.
2019 Acura TLX PMC Edition
The Acura TLX PMC Edition is a special-edition version of the premium company’s compact sedan. Unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show, not long before the first-generation TLX is set to go out of production, the PMC Edition is more than just a limited-edition car with a few extra features. Unlike previous special-editions from Acura, the TLX PMC Edition is handcrafted in the Performance Manufacturing Center, where the NSX supercar is produced.
Combining the premium interior features of the Advance Package and the sporty exterior elements of the A-Spec line, the TLX PMC Edition stands out among its siblings and climbs at the top of the TLX lineup. The first vehicle to be part of the PMC Edition line, the TLX will soon be followed by an MDX crossover with similar features. Let’s find out what makes the PMC Edition stand out.
For $695 Hondata Will Give your 2019 Acura RDX the Mid-Range Torque it Deserves
Acura revamped theRDX last year and gave it a more aggressive face coupled with a sporty profile. All that is great, but the new car is lacking when it comes to mid-range torque. That’s where Hondata jumps in with its Flashpro system that gives you the ability to extract 45 more pound-feet of torque at the peak of the curve over the 280 you get from Acura.
Mid-range torque is a very important aspect, especially when we’re talking about SUVs. The RDX is Acura’s compact crossover offering and, while it does offer 28 pound-feet of torque more than the previous RDX with its 3.5-liter V-6, there’s still room for improvement. Hondata has already released ECU kits for the Civic and Accord, and now it’s the RDX’s time to shine with extra torque and, also, more power across the band.
2018 Acura RDX A-Spec by Graham Rahal Performance
Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Acura RDX looks sportier than ever and boasts enough luxury features and state-of-the-art tech to give the German competition a run for its money. Unfortunately, it’s only marginally more powerful than its predecessor, even in the new, sportier A-Spec trim. This is where the Graham Rahal Performance update comes in, adding some extra grunt for the 2018 SEMA Show.
Founded in 2017 by race-winning Honda IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, Graham Rahal Performance (GRP), which owns an Acura dealership, decided to meddle with compact luxury crossover. In an effort to add style, power, and performance to the RDX, GRP customized the SUV’s exterior and interior and upgraded the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The end result is the most powerful third-generation RDX ever created, but it’s only for display purposes. At least for the time being.
2019 Acura MDX
When shopping for an SUV, there is usually a checklist involved before making a purchase. Is it spacious? Check. Does it have good power? Check. Is it well-built with quality materials? Check. Does it handle well? Check. Is it reliable? Check. Is there room for the in-laws? Check. The 2019 Acura MDX checks all those boxes and more all while providing subtle hints to let you know that you are in Honda’s premium brand.
The 2019 Acura ILX has Been Modernized; Now Includes Fresh Styling and Better Safety Equipment
In a surprise move that caught a lot of people by surprise, Acura has launched the 2019 ILX with a fresh new look and a suite of safety and tech features. The refreshed sedan looks completely different from its predecessor, a result of a new design inspired by the Acura Precision Concept. In addition to its sportier and more aggressive looks, the ILX also benefits from a handful of new safety features that come standard across the entire range. Tech updates are also on the menu, including a revised dual-screen infotainment system that Acura claims is more responsive than the previous version.
Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
The midsize SUV segment is as hot as ever, with families flocking to dealers to scoop up high-riding ‘utes capable of providing loads of cargo room, passenger comfort, and tech choices. Two of the most popular entries in this space come from Honda, including the Pilot, and, from its premium Acura brand offering, the MDX. But the question is this - which should you buy?
For starters, the MDX is one of the most popular three-row luxury SUVs ever created, with the current model headed for a new fourth generation sometime next year. However, there’s a newly refreshed Honda Pilot out as well, which is set to make its full debut later this month. Choosing between these two can be tricky given how similar they are, but luckily, we’re here to lay out all the important info, bringing it right here to help you pick the right model for your needs.
Continue reading for the full comparison buying guide.
Acura’s Still Tight-Lipped but an NSX Type R Could Happen After All!
Ever since the Acura NSX made its glorious debut, folks everywhere have been blowing up Acura’s (and Honda’s) lines begging for an NSX Type R. The truth is that the Japanese company has been rather tight-lipped, and it remains that way, but a few little hints here and there have come about. In an interview with Motoring, Acura’s Vice President and General Manager, Jon Ikeda, was asked about the idea of a Honda NSX or Acura NSX Type R, and his response gives us a lot of hope.
“I’m a car guy, so always faster performance vehicles … yeah, we like that, we talk about it.”
Of course, he was very careful not to officially confirm anything, but he never denied the fact that it does exist (or will soon, anyway.) Acura’s U.S. PR Manager, Matt Sloustcher, was privy to the conversation as well. He stopped well short of actually confirming the Type R, but he did say “anything can happen” but that there aren’t necessarily plans in the works:
“We’ll see … anything can happen,” he said. “There’s always proposals,” he said, before cautioning that the company had no plans “at this stage.”
The suits from Acura were also quizzed about other things, including upgrade packages for existing NSX owners and the response was just as intriguing, saying that there’s “nothing that can be discussed.” With that in mind, Acura has managed to sell close to 1,000 examples of the NSX, and it’s still trying to get the word out if you will. If the car continues to sell, a Type R is very possible, as long as the demand is really there. Sure, journalists everywhere want an NSX Type R but do those with pockets deep enough want it too?
There’s no reason why not, but then again, it might not happen until the next-gen NSX comes about. When that happens, it could even go all-electric. It could feature a four-motor system like that found in the Pikes Peak EV Concept. That would deliver gut-wrenching performance to the tun of 1,000 horsepower. The 60-mph sprint could come in 2.5 seconds while 124 mph could come in as fast as six seconds.
Of course, we’re getting a little far ahead of ourselves at the moment. The point is that an NSX Type R could literally be around the corner.
Donut Media Explains VTEC: Video
Matching gas-gulping speed-making with frugal efficiency isn’t an easy thing to do. Some folks slap a turbo on it and call it a day, while others add some extra batteries and an electric motor and call it a hybrid. But what if you didn’t need either of those things to have your cake and eat it too? Well, turns out Honda has been doing exactly that since the ‘80s, and it’s called VTEC.
The acronym stands for Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control, and basically, the system works to modify the exhaust and intake valve timing in the head to better extract more efficiency from the engine. While older engine design used a single cam profile to time the valves, VTEC actually manages to change the cam profile for increased power when you want it and decent fuel mileage when you don’t.
The first example came out in 1989 with the JDM Acura Integra, eventually hitting the States a few years later with the high-tech Acura NSX. Ever since then, H-badge fanboys have never been the same.
There’s obviously a lot more to it than we’ve explained thus far, so hit play for all the details.
Video of the Day: 2017 Honda Civic Type R vs 2005 Acura NSX
In one corner we’ve got the 1991 - 2005 Acura NSX; in the other corner, we’ve got the 2017 Honda Civic Type R. What do these two cars have in common other than coming from the same place and sharing common roots? Well, not much. The NSX was rear-wheel drive and rocked out less than 300 horsepower while the new Type R delivers as much as 320 ponies to the front wheels. Oh, and don’t forget that the NSX doesn’t have the same engine configuration as the Civic. Nope, it’s mounted midship compared to the more common frontal location of the Civic’s beastly little four-cylinder. Both cars are legendary in their own right.
The Civic Type R is the first one to roll off the production line and straight into U.S. Market. It’s also the most powerful production Civic Type R ever made. The NSX is, well, it’s an NSX. It was unbelievably reliable (as all Honda’s typically are) it looked amazing, and despite it’s relatively lower power output, it had world-beating performance thanks to a lightweight chassis and crazy aerodynamics. It even had a manual steering rack folks. So, what did all of that compute to? Well, it could beat the hell out of Ferrari at the time for less than $80,000. Now, the question is, can it beat today’s Civic Type R? Well, Check out this video from Carwow to see just how they stack up head-to-head!
The Acura NSX is one of those cars that constantly come up in conversation, and that conversation usually revolves around either the baby NSX or the NSX Roadster – neither of which have ever been confirmed. The baby NSX, for that matter, might as well be filed away in the drawer of things that will never happen, but German site Autobild has now put out a report that NSX Roadster is coming as one of several sporty, open-top vehicles.
Acura MDX A-Spec Looks Sportier, Lacks the Extra Power
Redesigned in 2013, the Acura MDX received a comprehensive facelift in 2016 that changed its appearance quite dramatically. Come 2018, and the premium brand is trying to keep the SUV fresh with a new, sportier variant called A-Spec. Part of a series of new trim levels that also includes the ILX and TLX, the MDX A-Spec just made its official debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.
The New Acura RDX Takes the Stage as BMW and Audi Fanboys Shed Tears of Jealousy, Hate, and Resentment
If you thought the new Acura RLX looked good, you’re going to fall out of your seat when you see Acura’s Precision Crafted design language plastered all over the new RDX. It’s got that Diamond Pentagon Grille,
inspired Jewel-Eye headlights, and one of the sharpest design styles we’ve seen this decade. Acura designed it to stand out in the segment and stand out it does while keeping things more efficient than ever thanks to a new chassis architecture, and an all-new four-cylinder with damn near the same horsepower and more torque than the outgoing V-6 mill. Add to that the longer wheelbase, extra cargo room, and a completely revamps AWD system and you’ve got what could become the most desired compact SUV on the market.
Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV
The 2018 Detroit Auto Show is now officially hitting its stride, and amid a flurry of high-riding utility vehicle debuts, Acura is joining the fray with its brand-new third-generation RDX compact luxury SUV. The Japanese automaker is calling it the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” unveiling the five-passenger in “prototype” form, even though this thing looks pretty much good to go in terms of production status. Overall, the updates cater to American buyers in a big way, adding in extra inches for the size, as well as new technology like a True Touchpad Interface, and new styling to boot. Inspiration comes from Acura’s latest Precision Concepts in terms of exterior aesthetics and interior layout, which is sure to get the attention of stateside buyers, and Acura boasts the 2019 model year is the “quickest, best-handling RDX ever.” The updated RDX will hit dealers by mid-2018, but until then, read on for more info.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
Around since the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX is a very hot commodity and has been a huge success, proving to be one of the best-selling three-row luxury crossovers of all time, and has historically sat below the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury crossover. It’s been through two generational shifts with the third-gen model making its debut for the 2015 model year and was facelifted just a couple of years later, to bring about the new diamond pentagon grille, LED headlamps, LED taillights, and an updated AcuraWatch safety system that includes automatic collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard equipment. Its exterior style to cues from the Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX, the latter of which also inspired the drivetrain found in the hybrid model.
The MDX has had pretty steady sales since the third-gen model was introduced, with 2014 accounting for 65,603 units sold, 2015 accounting for 58,208 units, and 2016 accounting for 55,495 units. Those are U.S. numbers only, and this is a global model so you can imagine the global sales are significantly higher. As we move into 2018, Acura continues to set the pace as a leader in the segment by bringing about an updated infotainment system, some new exterior colors, and a new pricing point that is a bit higher than it was for 2017, but not by much and well worth it considering what you get from a luxury brand like Acura. Check out our full review below to learn all about the facelifted, third-gen MDX.
Update 9/19/2017: Acura has released pricing for the 2018 model year, and there are a couple of updates to talk about as well. Check out our review below to learn all about it.
What’s The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?
The sport sedan – talk about a hotly contested segment. Almost every major automaker out there has one, but as you might expect, not all are created equal. And that’s where we come in, armed with a boatload of facts and figures to help rank the various entries from best to worst. Of course, more attentive TopSpeed readers out there are sure to point out that this is a topic we’ve covered before, most recently in a comparison piece looking at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But unlike that last article, which focused on luxury cars with a sporty flavor, this piece will instead focus on cars that place a greater emphasis on performance, with luxury as a secondary priority. As such, we’re picking apart the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volvo S60. Sure, there’s overlap, but in this crowd, the effort is made more for grins behind the wheel than backside coddling.
That isn’t to say these cars aren’t comfortable – indeed, each offers a fair amount of upscale treatment, some more so than others. That said, we weighed performance much more heavily this time around, giving otherwise more spartan models a shot at the top of the list. So how do we place these five four-doors? Read on to find out.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
2018 Acura TLX
The Acura TLX hit showrooms for the 2015 model year as a replacement for the TL and TSX sedans. After just a couple of years on the market, Acura commissioned a facelifted for 2018 that will keep the first generation alive until at least 2021. The big news here is that the TLX is getting a new pentagonal grille that not only replaces the beak found on most Acura vehicles but is also similar to the grille found on the Precision concept and the updated MDX crossover. That new grille will be accented by new headlight units and a new fascia. Inside, the 2018 TLX changes very little with this facelift but does have Acura’s updated dual-screen interface that’s said to be 30-percent faster and has more intuitive menus. Drivetrain options carry over unchanged, with the base model making use of a 206-horsepower four-cylinder and the TLX V6 getting the same 290-horsepower V-6 mill. Pricing for the updated TLX starts out at $33,000 and climbs to as much as $45,750 for the range-topping TLX 3.5 SH-AWD with the Advance Package.
So, as you can see, the term “facelift” is perfect for this model as the updates are focused primarily on the exterior design. And, while there isn’t any major improvement to the interior and absolutely zero improvements to the mechanical bits and pieces under the hood, it’s still a fitting update after just a few short years on the market. With competition like the Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS, BMW 3 Series, and the Mercedes C-Class, the Acura TLX has its work cut out. Will the new looks be enough to keep the TLX relevant? Let’s take a good look and find out.
2017 Acura TLX – Driven
The Acura TLX competes in a rather strong segment with players like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, not to mention relative newcomers like the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia. Needless to say, Acura has its work cut out. Curious to see how the TLX performs on familiar streets, I recently spent a week with a 2017 model fitted with the optional 3.5-liter V-6 and SH-AWD. This would technically be Acura’s hottest-performing TLX. So how’d it do?
Well, I’ll get to that. But first, some backstory.
The TLX hit the scene for the 2015 model year. It was designed to replace the compact TSX and slightly larger TL sedans. Acura essentially reorganized its sedan lineup, which now includes the compact,
based ILX, the mid-size TLX, and the RLX luxury flagship. Not much has changed for the 2017 model year beyond a slight price increase. This means the car carries over with its standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, and front-wheel drive. Different option packages bring high-tech bits like active safety features and upgradeg leather seats to go the an ELS stereo system.
My tester, which came fully kitted out with the V-6, AWD, the Technology Package and Advance Package, represented the cream of the TLX crop. Its $45,740 price tag actually sits mid-pack in relation to its competition, with the Audi and Alfa Romeo coming in slightly lower, while the Mercedes and BMW can be optioned to cost more than $5,000 more than the my loaded TLX tester. What’s that mean for Acura? The TLX represents a relative bargain. And, thanks to its 290-horsepower engine and torque-vectoring AWD system with rear-wheel steering, the Acura provides plenty of fun when driven hard, with a sure-footed grip when tooling around town.
There’s more to the Acura TLX, so keep reading for the full driven review.
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